Australia’s first museum has had a bit of a facelift. The aptly named Australian Museum recently unveiled a beautiful new entrance and exhibition that has brought a new lightness to the educational and cultural institution.
Another big change to the museum is their first permanent gallery to be added in over 50 years – Wild Planet. The gallery houses 400 animal specimens including lions and a very tall giraffe.
Upstairs, another new addition awaits – a roof-top cafe with an amazing view across the city skyline.
We trialled the cafe on our visit during the school holidays. I was excited to see great kid-friendly items on the menu like the $8 lunch boxes, but when we went to buy our lunch at 1pm, most of the food, including the kids boxes, were sold out.
Their milkshake machine had also broken, so there wasn’t much in the way of food left except for adult sandwiches and fried chips. D’oh. On the plus side, you can head up to the cafe without paying admission.
The kids’ favorite parts of the museum were the Wild Planet Activity Room and KidSpace.
The Wild Planet Activity Room costs $5 per child wanting to create a craft activity. When the kids got bored with colouring in their animal mobiles, they had fun dressing up and doing puzzles.
Wild Planet Activity Room
Cost: Child $5, adults free (after general admission)
Booking: None required
The Kidspace area is free after admission and is especially designed for children under 5. The kids would have really been happy to just stay in the Kidspace all day. A great deal of thought has gone into this “mini-museum” to stimulate young children’s imaginations and introduce them to the natural world through real-life objects waiting to be touched, and specimens ready to be viewed under magnifying glasses.
Cheese really enjoyed the five cubby house “pods” that were filled with activities and natural materials.
For tiny ones there is a baby-friendly space designated for crawling babies only, fenced off to keep them safe. Additional kid-friendly features: pram parking, a bottle warmer (just ask one of the staff), change and feeding space.
Cost:Free after admission
1 William St, Sydney NSW 2010
Hours: Open daily, 9:30am-5pm
Prices: Adults $15, children under 16 free.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!